FM News and Announcements
March 23, 2013
Facilities Management has partnered with Grainger, a leading industrial supply company, to install "KeepStock Secure", the company's inventory management solution employed through the use of vending machines. These vending machines contain high-count consumable and durable material items that are regularly used by Facilities craftsmen to complete their work. Typically, electricians, plumbers, carpenters and other trades people get their materials and supplies from the Facilities stockroom, the central inventory supply point located in the Facilities building. After being issued the material, they proceed to the job sites which could be located in any of the Health Science Center campuses. If they require additional items, they would have to travel back to the stockroom. With the use of vending machines, strategically placed across the Health Science Center, material is readily available. "If the technician had the supplies they go through regularly at the time of need, they would be more efficient and complete more work orders," said Jeff Parrott, Account Manager for Grainger.
With five vending machines already installed - two in the Facilities and Dental School buildings, one each at the
Medical Arts & Research Center (MARC), the Cancer Therapy & Research Center (CTRC), and at the School of Health Professsions buildings, and with a future installation planned at the Texas Research Park -
|Esteban Iglesias of the Engraving shop scans his Health Science Center employee badge at a Grainger vending machine.|
trades personnel can get the material they need quickly and focus on the jobs assigned to them instead of making frequent trips to the Facilities stockroom.
Housing a wide variety of items from metal screws and drill bits to paint brushes and safety glasses, the vending machines use a laser scanner to read the technician's Health Science Center employee badge number for authentication. The technician then inputs the work orders he/she has been assigned for the day, selects the items, and the machine dispenses product.
With a connection with AiM©, Facilities' enterprise asset and work management system, transactions from all vending units are reported to AiM for work order costing. Costs of all material dispensed from the vending units are rolled up to the cost of the work order which they were used for.
Despite having a capacity to store more than 500 unique items in its carousels, the vending machines can only accomodate items up to a certain size. Large items can only be acquired from the Facilities stockroom. However, since technicians can get regularly used items from the vending units, they do not have to wait in line to be issued material from the stockroom. This frees up time for inventory clerks to search and issue material for trades persons who can only get their material and supplies from the stockroom. Furthermore, items found in the vending machines are managed and replenished by Grainger employees on a weekly or as-needed basis. This has reduced the inventory stock that the Facilities stockroom has to reorder and replenish themselves.